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2020’s unicorns look to ramp up hiring in 2021

Startups that graduated to being unicorns in 2020 are on the prowl to ramp up headcounts across product, tech, engineering, sales, operations, and data sciences teams in 2021.

These companies that reached $1 billion in valuation last year are scaling up teams by 10-100% to drive market expansion and invest in product development. Salaries at these startup jobs range from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 60 lakh per annum, going up to a crore-plus at the senior leadership levels.

Six of these startup unicorns—Pine Labs, Zenoti, Postman, Razorpay, Cars24, and Glance—told ET they will hire about 2,000-2,500 employees in the coming months. The others like Unacademy, FirstCry, Nykaa and Zerodha declined to offer comment for this story.

Razorpay will hire 500-odd employees over the next year, said Anuradha Bharat, vice-president of people operations at the fintech firm. A majority of the hiring will be for the engineering and product teams to bolster new solutions as the company aims to build new payment and banking solutions for SMB (small and mid-size business) merchants. “We are also looking to hire for our sales and operations teams, customer experience team, and the finance team,.”

Software product company Zenoti is looking to add over 400 new hires to its headcount. The majority of the roles will be in India, the rest in Seattle, the United Kingdom and Australia. The company currently has about 550 employees. “Our hiring plans are being driven by more investment in product development as well as creating additional products to cater to our industry. We also have market expansion plans for sales/marketing roles, and most of that is in the US,” said Sudheer Koneru, CEO of Zenoti.

Pine Labs is looking to hire 300 employees in sales/tech in the January-March quarter, said Chief People Officer Anu Mathew. The company will continue to bolster its digital payments offerings in India, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, where it already has a presence, and in other new markets in South East Asia.

“With the rising adoption of digital payments post Covid-19, we will continue to build our tech and sales workforce to take our products to the masses,” Mathew said.
Postman is looking to double its teams and will be hiring leaders across product, engineering and design, its co-founder Ankit Sobti..

Glance, which reached $1-billion in valuation in December, is looking to shore up its headcount by 30-40%. The company currently has 400 employees.

“Our hiring will be driven by a need to further strengthen capability in AI (Artificial Intelligence), technology and product development, and international market expansion,” said Sahil Mathur, global head of human resources and culture, Glance. The company, which is part of InMobi Group, is planning to expand to international markets in South east Asia, Latin America and US.
Cars24 is looking to push up its headcount by 10-20%.

“There are strong tailwinds in favour of the used car industry post Covid, and we are very bullish about our growth plans,” said Sonam Lama, head of human resources, Cars24. The firm currently has over 3,000 people, and will be hiring for its technology, product, data sciences, operations, retail and sales teams.

Hiring, however, will be more tempered.

“Successful businesses will continue to add people in critical areas, but everything will be a little more cautious,” says Sandeep Murthy, partner at VC fund Lightbox Ventures. “Even before Covid, investors were being more focused about the path to profitability – that caution will stay; hiring will be more measured.” Business Journal

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